Life Insurance Options for Veterans and Their Families
Author: Alice Holbrook | Thursday, May 24, 2018
When you’re a member of the military, many of your needs are taken care of, including access to life insurance for you and your family. But the transition to civilian life can be difficult. Working out your own life insurance program is only one of the challenges.
The military provides life insurance benefits for veterans, as they do for active duty military. But if you’re no longer in the service and you’re someone who needs life insurance, striking out on your own to buy coverage may be your best bet.
Military retirees receive life insurance
When you join the military, you’re automatically enrolled in Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI). Veterans can convert that coverage to Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) for up to $400,000 worth of whole life insurance protection.
Unlike active duty members, however, veterans aren’t automatically enrolled in the program, and if you do decide to convert your SGLI to VGLI, you’ll have to act fast. Use this chart from the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, which shows key time frames for converting. You’ll continue to receive SGLI for free for 120 days after you leave the military. At that point, and for the next 120 days, you can convert your SGLI to VGLI without a medical exam.
Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind about VGLI premium rates: It’s more expensive than SGLI, and unlike SGLI or private, level-term plans, the monthly cost increases as you age. By contrast, she could get term life insurance proposals of $20 to $25 per month for a $400,000, 20-year policy from a private insurer, provided she’s in good health.
Private coverage options are available
Whether you can find less expensive coverage elsewhere, want a whole life insurance policy that can build cash value, or you simply need more than the maximum amount of military life insurance available, you may decide to buy your own individual policy once you leave the military — especially if you’re still young and healthy.
In this case, simply contact Massey, Clark, Fischer and we will be happy to meet with you to discuss these Life Insurance options and others to help custom design a program to mazimum protect you and your family.